How to undermine your lobbying effort in one (cut-and-paste) step

You are passionate about an issue. You inspire and organize others who are likewise passionate. To spark change, you need to persuade someone else—an individual or a group of people—to see things your way.

What do you next?

If you confuse “like-minded” with “carbon copy,” you may make the mistake of committing cut-and-paste activism. That’s where you tell all your followers: “Do exactly as I do, communicate precisely as I communicate. There’s power in flooding e-mail in boxes with the same message!”

Alas, there is far more impact in personalization, as when each supporter takes the time to put their own “signature” on the communication. They customize it with.

*A detail about what life experiences bring them to the issue;
*A recent event that prompted their action;

*Something as simple as an opening line that acknowledges the individuality of the message’s recipient.

If all anyone does is cut-and-paste a template, then they will be demonstrating only one thing for certain: their ability to cut-and-paste. Might they may have much more insight and passion and, thereby, value to bring to the lobbying effort? Sure thing. However, there’s no evidence of it.

How is the object of your lobbying to know that you have sufficient knowledge about the issue so that they can take your input seriously? The recipients of your cut-and-paste communication won’t confidently draw that conclusion. And to the extent that your campaign appears to be a cut-and-paste, impersonal assault on someone’s in-box, that’s the degree to which you jeopardize undermining your own cause.

“If all anyone does is cut-and-paste a template, then they will be demonstrating only one thing for certain: their ability to cut-and-paste.”

E-mails are easy to send. Then again, deleting them is even easier.

If you want to wage a more effective lobbying campaign via e-mail, whether your outreach is to a corporate leader, someone in elected office, or anyone else, then make your message tougher to delete. Don’t treat them as a “target.”

On a platform that so easily lends itself to impersonal tactics, take a few moments to provide the personal touch that only you can offer.

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